Adapted from comments to the Albemarle Board of Supervisors August 6, 2014 under Matters from the Public
Good Morning. My name is Neil Williamson and I serve as President of the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization located in Albemarle County.
Later today you will hear from Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne regarding Richmond’s plans for your main street US29. It is amazing what a difference a couple years makes. Two years ago, this board was so engaged in the design build process that you had not one but two separate ad hoc committees to provide input to the design build contractor.
Flash forward to the end of the July 23rd to the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meeting in this very space, when Former Supervisor Dennis Rooker said the Design Build Contractor should be provide flexibility in implementation. My how things have changed.
We are well aware of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) VDOT Project Delivery Advisory Panel that Philip Shucet is facilitating. While we believe the panel’s members are thoughtful, we do not believe the panel is designed for any action. We believe this panel has been creatively designed to talk a great deal and accomplish nothing. Supervisors Sheffield has raised many concerns during the PDAP process only to be told yes that’s a good question let’s get it on a future agenda.
Therefore, we come to the Board of Supervisors and your 2 pm audience with the Secretary and ask, “Will You Press for Real Answers?”
The community wants to know:
How many lanes of traffic will be maintained during the construction of the US29/Rio inrterchange?
How will this impact the level of service?
How long will construction take?
Why is Rio prioritized first?
What traffic mitigation plan does VDOT have for the intersection during construction?
This is not fear mongering this is nothard core — these are real questions I hear from businesses up and down US29 everyday.
Thank you for taking the time to listen. I remain hopeful that you will ask these questions, since the public has not been afforded such an opportunity.